Rational Argument

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A Rational Argument is an reasoned argument (premises and conclusion) composed of an ordered set of premises and operations (within some argument system) that are presented as a conclusion justifier.



  1. "Argument", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." "In everyday life, we often use the word "argument" to mean a verbal dispute or disagreement. This is not the way this word is usually used in philosophy. However, the two uses are related. Normally, when two people verbally disagree with each other, each person attempts to convince the other that his or her viewpoint is the right one. Unless he or she merely results to name calling or threats, he or she typically presents an argument for his or her position, in the sense described above. In philosophy, "arguments" are those statements a person makes in the attempt to convince someone of something, or present reasons for accepting a given conclusion."
  2. Ralph H. Johnson, Manifest Rationality: A pragmatic theory of argument (New Jersey: Laurence Erlbaum, 2000), 46-49.
  3. Ralph H. Johnson, Manifest Rationality: A pragmatic theory of argument (New Jersey: Laurence Erlbaum, 2000), 46.
  4. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 2nd Ed. CUM, 1995 "Argument: a sequence of statements such that some of them (the premises) purport to give reason to accept another of them, the conclusion"
  5. Stanford Enc. Phil., Classical Logic
  6. "Deductive and Inductive Arguments," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  7. Charles Taylor, "The Validity of Transcendental Arguments", Philosophical Arguments (Harvard, 1995), 20-33. "[Transcendental] arguments consist of a string of what one could call indispensability claims. They move from their starting points to their conclusions by showing that the condition stated in the conclusion is indispensable to the feature identified at the start… Thus we could spell out Kant's transcendental deduction in the first edition in three stages: experience must have an object, that is, be of something; for this it must be coherent; and to be coherent it must be shaped by the understanding through the categories."
  8. Nikolas Kompridis, "World Disclosing Arguments?" in Critique and Disclosure" (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 116-124.
  9. "Argument", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy."


  • http://www.ehow.com/how_5017361_write-rationale-statement.html
    • A rationale statement outlines the reasons for an activity or a decision. Many educators use a rationale to explain why a given component of a curriculum was selected. In an effort to make teaching more transparent for both students and parents, a rationale provides background information and discusses the foreseen benefits and potential challenges of a classroom activity.


  • Misc
    • Argument: An effort to establish belief by a course of reasoning.
    • Argument: A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood.
    • Argument: From the Latin, "to make clear"
    • Argument: A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood: a statement, reason, or fact for or against an idea or viewpoint
  • http://www.philosophy.uncc.edu/mleldrid/logic/logiglos.html
    • Argument: An argument is a piece of reasoning with one or more premises and a conclusion. Arguments are usually divided into two kinds, deductive and inductive. So defined, an argument is to be distinguished from a disagreement. One may use an argument, in the logician's sense, in order to win an argument, in the everyday sense of a dispute. Clearly the logician's "argument" is not as dramatic as a verbal fight. For an example of an inductive argument see argument from analogy; for an example of a deductive argument see hard determinism.

  • http://mcckc.edu/longview/ctac/glossary.htm
    • Argument Definition: An argument is a collection of statements in which one or more (known as the premises) are given for the purpose of justifying, or defending as true, another statement (the conclusion). Comment: "Argument" is a technical term, in the context of logic, and does not imply or presuppose a dialogue or discussion between two individuals, much less an emotionally heated exchange or disagreement. The presenter of an argument may not be fully aware of its structure-- some serious reconstruction may be required, to extract an argument from his initial mishmash of statements.

  • CYC Glossary http://www.cyc.com/cycdoc/ref/glossary.html
    • argument: The term "argument" is used in two different ways by Cyclists:
      • Most commonly, the term "argument" is used to refer to any CycL term which follows a predicate, a function, a logical connective, or a quantifier in a Cycl expression. Thus, in the CycL formula (#$likesAsFriend #$BillM #$Goolsbey), #$likesAsFriend is a predicate, and #$BillM and #$Goolsbey are the first and second arguments to that predicate.
      • The term "argument" is also used to refer to a reason why an assertion is present in the KB with its truth value. Arguments are of two main types: the first type of argument is essentially a statement that the formula was explicitly "asserted" (or "local"). The second type of argument is the group of assertions through which the assertion was "inferred" (in which case the assertion is called "remote"). In this case there is a chain of inference which supports the truth value of the supported assertion. Such arguments are also called deductions.


  • Taylor & Francis. (2006). “An Introduction to Philosophy of Education. Taylor & Francis. ISBN:0203969952
    • … A rational argument is therefore one that proceeds logically, that is to say in which each step of the argument as given does indeed follow from the preceding step, and in which the reasons that are used to move from the premises to the conclusion are good reasons. An argument may fall short of being rational in a number of ways: it may refuse to take account of pertinent evidence that would upset it; it may lay stress on irrelevant evidence; it may appeal to metion rather than reason; it may contains contraditions and inconsistencies.